The Andrews Labor Government is transforming parcels of private land – that combined cover an area five times the size of the City of Melbourne – into new habitats helping Victorian wildlife thrive and capturing carbon.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, has called for expressions of interest from suitable organisations to partner in the landmark BushBank program – aimed at restoring 20,000 hectares of private land and creating more than 100 jobs across Victoria.
The almost $31 million investment will revegetate and restore our precious biodiversity with millions of trees and shrubs, delivering unique habitats for Victorian wildlife and storing more than 4.5 million tonnes of carbon – integral to Victoria reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Program is designed to generate new opportunities for regional communities and income streams for landowners, driving investment from emerging carbon markets, supporting biodiversity and creating jobs.
BushBank will also include an initial $7 million in grants available to Traditional Owner Corporations to lead restoration on Country.
The program supports Aboriginal self-determination with opportunities for Traditional Owners to identify priority values and locations for restoration, pursue training and capacity building opportunities, investigate new emissions-reduction methodologies for cultural practices, and seek out natural-resource related economic opportunities.
These programs are part of the Government’s $77 million Nature restoration for carbon storage – BushBank program announced in the Victorian Budget 2020/21, which works to restore public and private land across Victoria.
BushBank is supported by the $15.3 million Victorian Carbon Farming Program, helping landowners to plant agroforestry and shelterbelt trees, access existing carbon markets and drive on-farm benefits and new income streams.
The program will play a key role in helping meet the Government’s Biodiversity 2037 targets to permanently protect 200,000 hectares of private land and revegetate 200,000 hectares of land in priority areas. The Labor Government has invested nearly $500 million towards protecting biodiversity since 2014.
The Victorian Government is investing $30.9 million to revegetate and restore at least 20,000 hectares of native habitat across private land in Victoria through its BushBank program.
Expressions of interest are open for suitable organisations which can deliver this part of the program, bringing in co-investment and helping private landowners tap into financial incentives available through land restoration and carbon markets.
The successful delivery partner will recruit landowners to participate and also play a role in the delivery of works, involving the planting of millions of trees and shrubs to become habitat for native species.
This work is part of the Victorian Government’s $77 million BushBank program to revegetate and restore natural environments across Victoria.
How to apply
There are two stages for applicants:
Stage 1: Submit an expression of interest (EOI) to be a delivery partner.
Stage 2: Develop a Project Implementation Plan in consultation with DELWP and Trust for Nature.
Applicants must read the program guidelines BushBank private land restoration and protection – Open call to market to select a delivery partner that details eligibility requirements (refer to section 3.2), program specifications and the EOI process and rules.
Potential applicants should register to attend an MS Teams information session hosted by DELWP, where they can learn more about this offer and participate in a Question and Answer session.
For more information visit: environment.vic.gov.au/bushbank